Offering a striking contrast between historic architecture and New York-inspired warehouses, Parnell really does have it all. And let’s not forget the sprawling outdoor spaces ready to discover on foot, like the Rose Gardens, Judges Bay and Auckland Domain. From delicious eateries through to art galleries and local boutiques, here’s how to spend the perfect day in this dreamy suburb.
Coffee At Red Rabbit Coffee Co.
Make tracks to Parnell’s industrial quarter and hit up Red Rabbit’s Faraday Street outpost. Home to both a coffee bar and roastery, the café features exposed brick walls and modern warehouse vibes. The expectation here is simple; damn good single-origin coffee served the way it’s meant to be.
Mini Art Gallery Crawl – Galleries & Museums
Once sufficiently caffeinated, you’ll be ready to absorb some of the great art on offer at the popular galleries in the neighbourhood. Black Door Gallery is home to a bold selection of pieces including paintings, sculptures and colourful glassworks. While nearby Parnell Gallery focuses its attention on emerging and established New Zealand artists. It’s been the gallery’s notable and enduring agenda since 1976.
Treats And Strolls At Little Rosie
Head on down to Little Rosie for a moreish selection of takeaway goods, from lavishly filled doughnuts to savoury croissants and seasonal danishes. With a fresh juice in one hand and a pastry in the other, pop over to the nearby Parnell Rose Gardens or Judges Bay and scout out a spot to enjoy your treats.
Refuel With Lunch At Bandung Café
Inspired by home cooking from the team’s roots in Bali and Java, Bandung Café boasts a fresh take on Indonesian cuisine, with classic touches throughout. Set in plain sight along Parnell road, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the colourful decor and the cute patio tucked away out the back.
Indulge Your Inner Bookworm At Lamplight Books
Bibliophiles should make a beeline for Lamplight Books, an elegant bookstore along the main strip. With a focus on curating art and culture reads, you’ll even find a whole section dedicated to the creatives and designers of Parnell.
Shop From Local Creators
When it comes to fashion, Bara will have you lusting after the latest threads. The boutique leans more art gallery vibes than a typical clothing shop and stocks collections from local designers. Also along Faraday Street, Doran & Doran Bespoke Tailors sport a refined range of menswear sure to last a lifetime. Make your way across to Parnell Village for a taste of the traditional, where you’ll find quaint shops like The Fantail House or Passion for Paper.
Sweet Treat At Atelier Shu
We could easily mistake Atelier Shu for a luxury fashion boutique—its modern interior and minimalistic decor is just that beautiful. But it’s in fact a gorgeous patisserie and dessert shop serving expertly crafted pastries and Kōkako coffee. From artfully displayed fruit tarts to indulgent desserts, it’s a feast for the eyes.
Discover Auckland Museum And Domain
Both Auckland Museum and the surrounding Domain offer endless pockets of inspiration just waiting to be discovered. Check out the Wintergardens in the Domain for a ’Gram-worthy collection of flora and fauna. Or, get immersed in Museum galleries like the natural history section and the Māori collections, which house more than 1,000 taonga (treasure).
Walk It Off
You’re not just spoilt for choice when it comes to cafés, restaurants and art galleries in Parnell. There’s also plenty of picturesque places to stretch your legs and take in the beauty of this inner-city suburb. We’ve already mentioned the Rose Gardens, Judges Bay and Auckland Domain, but off the beaten path, you’ll find hidden nooks of lush greenery at Heard Park, Scarborough Reserve and Alberon Reserve. Plus, for a sneaky peek of the Sky Tower don’t miss a visit to Fraser Park. Discover Parks and Walks here.
Splash Out At The Parnell Baths
In summer the Parnell Baths are a welcome relief to the heat for both locals and visitors. They’ve got you covered—get competitive in the 60-metre lap pool, chill out in the family pools or relax in the adult spa section. And there’s even a playground for the kids. Togs and SPF at the ready?
Dinner At Barulho
Moody lighting, cosy bench seats and succulent share-plates are just a few reasons why we love Barulho for a night out. The Mediterranean-style cuisine comes alive through a mouth-watering tapas menu—think marinated warm olives, croquetas, ceviche and empanadas. And we can’t forget the Portuguese custard tart dessert, a contemporary take on this well-loved sweet delight.
Wind Down With Cocktails At Pineapple Bar
For a late-night sip, Pineapple Bar is the place to be. This regal hideaway offers an opulent escape from city life, encouraging patrons to unwind with good company and even better cocktails. Expect dramatic dark green walls accented with luxurious velvet curtains and cosy leather booths, plus an equally stunning drinks list to match.
Article as recently published in Neatplaces.